One of the most important land parcels in the Connecting the Cumberlands Initiative was the addition of the Emory Tract to Frozen Head State Park.
The Emory Tract is an 8,000-acre property that extends north and west from the original park boundary at the crest of Bird Mountain northwest down to the Emory River. This critical swatch of mostly mature hardwood forest is now owned by the State of Tennessee.
The timely acquisition eliminated the threat of logging at the park border, similar to what occurred in 2002 along the park’s former northern border. Hardwoods were logged from tracts bounding the park on False Jury Ridge and Bald Knob while still privately owned. Where Frozen Head’s North Boundary Trail crisscrossed the park’s northern border, much of the trail was destroyed on the privately held northern side. But now that the State owns all this land, logging activities such as those on Bald Knob, England Mountain, Hall Branch, and that which was planned for the head of Phillips Creek will not happen.
While most of the original part of Frozen Head is managed as a natural area, the park will manage the Emory Tract differently, allowing hunting and ATVs for hunting-related activities. —HR